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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

How Enamel Erosion Leads to Tooth Sensitivity

By Bruce Wilderman on July 15, 2016

A woman with a toothacheWhen patients come to Artistic Expressions Dentistry, they know that they are getting some of the finest dental care in the greater Philadelphia area. This is because our team of dental health experts blend state-of-the-art general dentistry with the latest in cosmetic and restorative procedures.

Part of good general dentistry is answers questions that patients ask us, and we've lately been noticing a number of questions about tooth sensitivity and dental erosion. Let's take a moment to consider the connection.

About Dental Erosion

Dental erosion sounds like tooth decay, but it's actually a different kind of dental health issue entirely.

Also known as acidic erosion and tooth enamel erosion, dental erosion refers to the weakening of the tooth enamel caused by an acidic oral pH. When the acidity in the mouth is increased, it means that the tooth enamel is more likely to be worn down as a result of normal wear and tear. This can result in exposure of the dentin layer beneath the enamel, which means changes in the shape and appearance of a tooth and other dental health issues.

Causes of Dental Erosion

In order to understand the causes of dental erosion, let's consider a few key substances that cause a person's oral pH to become acidic. This includes:

  • Sodas/carbonated beverages
  • Fruit drinks
  • High-sugar diets
  • High-starch diets
  • Acid reflux (GERD)
  • Dry mouth

The wearing down of the tooth enamel may be exacerbated by problems with tooth grinding (bruxism), which can cause significant wearing down of the tooth structure.

Why Tooth Sensitivity Occurs

When the dentin layer of the teeth is exposed, tooth sensitivity becomes more likely. This is because the dentin layer contains small pores known as dentinal tubules. These lead from the dentin down into the pulp chamber, where the dental pulp is contained. As a result, teeth are more keen to hot temperatures and cold temperatures than they would be otherwise.

How Serious Is the Tooth Sensitivity?

The tooth sensitivity that comes as a consequence of dental erosion can be quite serious, making it difficult to eat hot food or cold foods without discomfort. In addition, patients will notice greater potential for teeth to be damaged since the dentin is not as strong as the outer enamel layer.

Treatments for Dental Erosion

The most common treatments for dental erosion will typically involve cosmetic or restorative procedures, such as tooth bonding, porcelain veneers, or dental crowns. Each of these solutions can mask the exposed dentin, improve the appearance of the tooth, and reduce issues with sensitivity. The best treatment option for you and your needs will depend on the extent of dentla erosion that you have experienced.

Prevention of Dental Erosion

To prevent dental erosion, consider the following helpful tips:

  • Reduce your consumption of carbonated beverages
  • Avoid consuming sugary drinks
  • Use a straw while drinking to bypass the teeth
  • Reduce snacking on junk food
  • Drink water through the day to maintain a healthy oral pH
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride

Learn More About Treatments for Enamel Erosion

To learn more about dental erosion and how we can help you have a healthy and beautiful smile again, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry looks forward to your visit and helping you look and feel great.

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400 Swamp Rd
Doylestown, PA 18901

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